New crib regulations affect all Daycares, Child Care industries, and Hoteliers. Now is the time to take action and make sure you’re compliant. The following guides will help you navigate the new policies with ease. Be prepared. Educate yourself and you’ll see that “knowing is half the battle”.
Expectant moms rejoice. With the implementation of sweeping new safety standards for all cribs sold by all retailers, you can rest assured that darling crib you must, must have, meets your safety expectations. But what about you, our baby caregivers and hoteliers? All cribs that do not comply with new regulations may not remain in service after December 28, 2012. So yes, most or all of your cribs need to be replaced. New regulations prohibit all drop-side cribs and require extensive new structural enhancements and labeling. The following are the three most important things you need to know.
FAQ’s for daycare centers and hotels
My daycare center does not have any cribs that have been recalled. Do I still need to replace them? Yes, your program will need to replace all cribs that do not meet the new CPSC crib requirements. Recalls and repair kits are for the private consumer. All commercial industries must have cribs that meet the new standards, which essentially means new cribs.
My childcare program does not have any drop-side cribs. Do I have to replace the cribs?
Yes, the new requirements affect the general construction of the cribs, as well. Therefore, yes all cribs need to be replaced.
What is the difference between a crib with a drop-side and a crib with a drop-gate?
A drop-side crib is one in which a whole side may be lowered and raised, while a drop-gate crib is one in which only the top portion of the crib can move. The drop-gate design is allowed under the new crib regulations and is recommended for people who may have difficulty being able to safely move a child in or out of a fixed-side crib.
My childcare program uses mesh cribs and portable cribs. Do I need to replace these?
No, as long as these cribs have mesh, net, screen, or other non-rigid construction, they are not considered cribs. CPSC refers to these as play yards and is developing separate requirements for them.
Where do I get a copy of the certificate of compliance?
Crib manufacturers are required to have a certificate of compliance for any cribs they make. Often the retailer will have this, but you may need to request it.
My program uses hospital cribs. Do we need to replace these?
This depends on whether the crib is a medical device. CPSC crib standards do not apply to medical devices. If the crib is considered a medical device and is used by a child with special care needs, as documented by the child’s health care professional, then it does not have to be replaced. Note that cribs that meet the definition of a device are subject to regulation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Is it okay for me as a consumer to resell, donate or give away a crib that does not meet the new crib standards?
A consumer should not resell, donate or give away a crib that does not meet the new crib standards, such as trying to resell the product through an online auction site or donating to a local thrift store. CPSC recommends disassembling the crib before discarding it.
Please note: residential homes are not subject to these regulations which include children in foster care. In addition, childcare which there is no fee involved and is run solely by volunteers such as in a church or synagogue are exempt from these regulations, as well. However, as soon as there is an exchange of monies in any way, they are considered a childcare facility and must comply.
FAQ’s for private consumers
What can I do if I have a drop-side crib?
Some drop-side crib manufacturers have immobilizers that fit their cribs. Drop-side crib immobilizers are devices that are used to secure drop sides to prevent dangerous situations in which the drop-side either partially or fully separates from the crib. As part of a recall, CPSC staff works with companies to provide fixes, or remedies, for products. For drop-side cribs, that remedy has been immobilizers.
Check the CPSC’s website for companies that have recalled their cribs and are providing immobilizers to secure the drop-side on the cribs. These immobilizers were evaluated and approved by CPSC staff for use with these particular drop-side cribs.
If your drop-side crib has not been recalled, you can call the manufacturer and ask if they are making an immobilizer for your crib. Remember, though, that those particular immobilizers have not been tested or evaluated by CPSC staff for use with your specific crib.
Is a sturdy, non-drop-side crib okay for a consumer to use?
It is unlikely that your current crib will meet the new crib standards. The new standards require stronger hardware and rigorous testing to prove a crib’s durability. If you continue to use your current crib, you are encouraged to check the crib frequently to make sure that all hardware is secured tightly and that there are no loose, missing, or broken parts. Note that after December 28, 2012, childcare facilities, family child care homes, and places of public accommodations, such as hotels and motels, must provide cribs that comply with the new and improved standards.
My drop-side crib has not been recalled, but I am worried about using it with my baby. Can I return it for a refund?
Manufacturers and retailers are not required to accept returned drop-side cribs or to provide a refund if the crib has not been recalled.
So now you know. You need new cribs. But how to choose? Commercial cribs tend to look all the same. Selections are not based on warm your heart, adorable designs, rather on form and function. Need help navigating the tens of choices? Read on for the full lowdown on how to gear up with the right crib for your facility. And if you’re a mom or grandma looking for a portable crib, we’ve got recommendations for you too.
Full-Size Cribs vs. Compact Size Cribs
Compact size cribs tend to be the prevailing choice for most daycare institutions. The obvious reason, you can fit more cribs in a smaller area. They also have the benefit of easier storage and most have a small enough footprint to fit through doorways which is a major factor when considering emergency evacuation plans. However, hoteliers who want to offer an upgraded more “at home” atmosphere, a larger crib may just do the trick. They’re also definitely more comfortable for the older child.
Folding Cribs /Portable Cribs
These are an obvious must for hotels unless you want to spend needless hours assembling cribs. However, for daycares this in an unnecessary perk that may just drive the price up. You need your cribs assembled at all times.
Grandma’s check this out. These are the perfect cribs for you. Expecting a mini overnight guest? Set up comfy sleeping quarters in a jiffy.
Style and Construction
Iron vs. wood cribs is the great daycare debate and there is no right or wrong. Rather it’s really a matter of personal choice. Iron cribs that are created from heavy-duty steel are sturdy, safe and super easy to clean and sanitize which is a principal concern when considering institutional purchases. However wood is warmer, more homey and friendly. Wood cribs may come with a host of unique features that have their overriding benefits including upgraded style, color and finish, Clearview panels, mirrored panels, and teething rails.
Clearview panels augment easy supervising. They allow for an easy sweep of all infants in your facility. They also afford the baby a stimulating view of their surroundings, encouraging interaction.
Mirror panels are a great upgrade for daycare cribs. Mirrors help babies learn how to focus, track images, and explore the wonderful things a face can do. Point them out to prospective parents touring your facility as evidence to your abounding care for your charges development.
A definitive choice for a daycare center would be a crib with a clear panel on one end and a reflective panel on the other.
Teething babies love to gum anything they can get their gums on. That said, crib rails are a well-loved choice. Therefore if your cribs are wood we would recommend adding specialized baby teething rails to prevent nicks and scratches and support easy sanitization. Many cribs do come predesigned with this feature.
More features to consider
Locking casters are a great addition to any crib. They allow for easy transport from room to room whether the crib is open or folded and lock in place for safety when the crib is not in motion.
Multiple mattress height positions are a blessing. They make caring for infants so much easier while ensuring that the same crib can be used for an older child.
Clear labeling in multiple languages is a necessary element and a clear sign of a well-made crib.
Every daycare owner’s worst nightmare – an emergency situation like a fire or natural disaster with multiple children in your care. Every institution needs an emergency plan including how to transport or evacuate multiple babies safely and quickly with solutions for low light situations. We recommend every facility should have a few specialized first responder cribs. These cribs come with reinforced steel frames to safely transport up to 4 children at a time, integrated easy-grip handles and photoluminescent labels. At the very least, glow in the dark tags should be affixed to your cribs and those small enough to fit through doorways clearly labeled.
Now for the bottom line, if you’re a daycare marm you need compact size cribs that are easy to sanitize and are portable in case of emergency. Clearview panels and such are extra features that will definitely update your facility. Hoteliers – your number one need is foldable cribs. The rest is just style and that will depend on the caliber of service you wish to offer. Grandma’s – portable, foldable cribs are the one for you. The smaller ones tend to be easier to assemble – so we say – go with that. As far as style – the sky’s the limit for your precious grandkids. New moms – a compact crib is a great way to room share with a newborn baby. They’re small an unobtrusive. Your primary need is multiple mattress positions. After that picnic called delivery, the less you bend the better.
Ready to outfit your institution? Visit aBaby.com – your number one source for all kinds of daycare furnishings including portable cribs, changers, mattresses, and bedding. Our trained reps are standing by ready to help you find the perfect products for your facility. And remember, we’re proud of our service and even prouder of our prices. Bulk orders and discounts are our specialties!